Joseph Ible learned his trade with the legendary Bede Murray, in the era of Coniston Bluebird and Predatory Pricer.
So it's fitting Ible returns to Kembla Grange with lofty ambitions after moving his stable base from Canberra.
Joseph's father Darrell was a respected bloodstock owner in Wollongong, helping to launch his son's career.
He was hooked by the time Bede took Coniston Bluebird to New Zealand Derby success in 2010, soon after his son, South Coast trainer Paul Murray, had success with Predatory Pricer, taking out the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes, Listed Ming Dynasty and was second in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes.
"Absolutely, it's great to be back," he told the Mercury.
"I'd spend most afternoons with the Murrays, on and off for a couple of years as a stable hand.
"And with Coniston Bluebird and Paul training Predatory Pricer at the time, it was a good time to be a part of it.
"I've come full circle, after starting out myself at Moruya and then moving to Canberra, the stables are quite strong up here at the moment and hopefully being in the Provincials means we can attract some more clients."
Once a Smith's Hill High School student, Ible was attracted to returning to the Illawarra by the Racing NSW expansion of operations and the lure of the new $100,000 Midway Handicap prizemoney, previously only available to country trainers in the Highways at metropolitan Saturday meetings.
He's taken 16 of his 22 horses to his new Kembla Grange operation, with three more still in pre-training, but hopes to build "towards 40 or 50".
"We were just looking for superior training facilities and obviously with the investment Racing NSW coming in there, it made it the right move," he said.
"We're well placed, we can still travel to Canberra, down the coast or other country tracks, but we're now in a position where we can really aim some horses at the Midways too."
Ible's first Midway mission will be to set lightly-raced five-year-old mare Riverstock - with two wins from 12 career starts - for an 1800m task at Rosehill next month, having previously finished third in a Highway Handicap over the same distance in December.
He's also preparing five-year-old gelding Champagne Vega for Midways metropolitan action, having produced some impressive fresh form in Canberra earlier this year and ran second in the Murrumbidgee Cup, the prelude to the Wagga Gold Cup.
"Hopefully the Midway level will suit (Riverstock) over that distance," he said.
"Champagne Vega has been performing quite well, he's out in the paddock at the moment, but he'll be aimed there too."
Latham century caps off best season yet
He's had a stranglehold on the Kembla Grange jockey title this season and Keagan Latham's sensational season continued at Gosford on Thursday, bringing up his 100th winner.
Latham ensured Cueillir made it two victories from as many career starts for trainer Bjorn Baker, who declared the gelding a "city class horse", but it was his own personal milestone which left him with plenty to celebrate.
"It's been a stellar season for me, my best yet," the South African said.
"A lot of trainers have supported me, Australia has been great for me and my wife and I'm really at home here, hopefully these sorts of seasons keep flowing."
After waiting another week, Theresa Bateup will chase a Randwick breakthrough with Monegal on Saturday. Monegal was scratched from the inaugural Midway Handicap and is now poised to return in a 1400m Benchmark 78.
While the almost six-year-old mare has tasted success in town at Rosehill over 1300m and in the Bega Cup, she is yet to deliver at Randwick. On Thursday, Monegal was rated a $23 chance with Sportsbet, with Mark Newnham's filly Expat the $3.40 favourite.
Saturday's Goulburn meeting was originally schedule for Kembla Grange, but moved after the COVID protocols were brought in to restrict jockey movement to certain zones.
Kembla Grange will instead host an eight-race card on Thursday, while the Saturday, July 31 meeting has been shifted to Sunday, August 1, Racing NSW has announced.
10-race meeting to run at Bulli
Bulli's Saturday meeting will proceed as scheduled, amid strict COVID protocols.
Wednesday's racing at Gosford was cancelled following concerns from Terrigal State MP Adam Crouch about the lockdown situation which has hit greater Sydney, Wollongong, Shellharbour and the Central Coast.
However, with no crowds on track, GRNSW confirmed all racing participants remain subject to regular COVID testing protocols as racing continues.
"Accordingly, greyhound racing participants who reside in the Fairfield LGA must provide evidence of a negative Covid-19 test every three days ... before being permitted to attend a race track," a statement said.
GRNSW decided to move the meetings away from Wentworth Park to Gosford and Bulli after the Sydney outbreak began.
The regular Dapto meeting was run on Thursday night, while Bulli also held a meeting on Tuesday.
The first of a 10-race card at Bulli on Saturday jumps at 6.07pm.